Practicing good oral hygiene basics is the best line of defense against cavities, abscesses and other problems that can plague a person’s mouth. A visit to the dentist can show someone where changes need to be made and help direct improvements in cleaning habits. The following information can more fully explain what needs to happen…
Daily Oral Hygiene Tips from a Family Dentist
If you want to protect your smile and, more importantly, your mouth, gums, tongue, and throat, you have to make sure you have a great oral hygiene routine. It can be difficult to figure out what you should be doing each day and how often with all the different advice. We all know we should be brushing and flossing, but there has to be more we can do to protect our oral health.
Fortunately, there is! Let's go over some tips on how to improve your day-to-day hygiene routine so that your mouth can stay healthy.
Many times when we brush our teeth, we do not take the process seriously as we should be. We give our teeth a once over with the toothbrush and toothpaste and don’t think about how long or how well we’re brushing our teeth. The truth is, there is a right way and a wrong way to brush our teeth. It starts with making sure you have the correct type of toothbrush. Many people prefer an electric toothbrush over a manual one because it helps scrub your teeth.
It’s important to choose the right option for you and make sure the bristles are not too hard to irritate the gums. To reduce plaque buildup and keep your mouth free of debris while you sleep, it is recommended to brush at least twice a day, especially before bed.
Lastly, remember not to brush just your teeth but your gums and tongue as well. These places can build up debris and plaque, just like teeth, and not brushing your entire mouth can lead to bad breath and other oral health issues.
Use fluoride toothpaste
While there are many things to consider when it comes to what toothpaste to use, one of the most important elements of your toothpaste is to make sure that it contains fluoride. Fluoride has important germ-fighting abilities that make it crucial to maintaining a healthy mouth and preventing issues like gum disease. Toothpaste will clearly indicate if it has this ingredient, so make sure that you check the label.
Not only does fluoride help fight germs, but it as well provides extra protection against tooth decay. It can help strengthen and preserve tooth enamel, meaning fewer cavities and longer-lasting teeth.
Don’t forget to floss
We all know flossing is important, but it should be treated just as important as brushing. Flossing is a powerful tool in helping keep our mouths healthy. Flossing gets in those places that brushing can’t reach.
Flossing in between teeth is key to getting all the food and plaque that would otherwise go unchecked and lead to gum disease and cavities. It’s a good idea to floss every time you brush so that it becomes just another part of your routine. If you have difficulty using traditional floss, you can visit your dentist or the local drugstore and find flossing devices that are easier to use and more comfortable.
An important component to your oral hygiene routine should always include an antibacterial mouthwash. An antibacterial mouthwash will help kill germs and clean places where floss and brushing simply can’t reach. This will help ensure that not just your teeth but your whole mouth stays clean and germ-free.
Mouthwash is an added layer of protection on top of your regular brushing and flossing.
Change your diet
One last thing to improve your oral hygiene and overall oral health is to make sure that your diet is healthy and consists of the right foods and beverages. Knowing what to eat and what to avoid will go a long way in making sure your teeth stay healthy, and you don’t wind up with cavities and other dental problems.
Foods that contain a ton of sugar can rot your teeth; this includes things like candy and sugary beverages. The most healthy foods are best to preserve your teeth and mouth, so eating many fruits and vegetables is considered optimal.
Visit your dentist
Besides all the changes we’ve talked about, we can’t neglect saying that you should come into your dentist’s office at least twice a year for routine exams and cleanings. Regular cleanings will allow the dentist to remove plaque and debris buildup and check for potential developing problems. This way, you can be proactive about your oral health and not let a minor issue become something significant. Your dentist will be able to give tips on good hygiene practices at your appointments.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Oral Hygiene Basics in Alexandria, VA.
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